NSW budget pie must feed agriculture

NSW Farmers has developed a blueprint for leveraging the potential of agriculture and regional NSW to drive economic recovery from COVID-19 and to set the path for meeting $30 billion in farmgate output by 2030.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said record-breaking forecasts for agriculture over 2021 spark optimism, but a long-term strategy is needed to build our food and fibre future, and the NSW Farmers pre-Budget submission provides a plan for success.

“Ultimately, our success lies in the profitability of individual farming businesses. We need the NSW Government to partner with the sector to grow farming businesses through incentives and rebate schemes to deliver premium products and improve infrastructure for faster and lower cost transport of produce from farm gate to the consumer’s plate,” Mr Jackson said.

“The land use and water planning challenges the farming sector has faced over recent decades must be remedied if we are to expand the value of agriculture.”

Mr Jackson said a strategy for agriculture must be based on addressing potential challenges and embracing opportunities over the coming years, and COVID-19 disruption has forced us to rethink some of these.

“One of the defining features of our success both domestically and globally is the high-quality product farmers deliver, enabled through our relatively untainted pest and disease profile and our world-class traceability systems,” Mr Jackson said.

“Biosecurity must be a funding priority going forward. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the cost of a single disease outbreak, we are now armed with the knowledge that Australia’s exposure to pest and disease incursions will continue to grow.”

“Our myopic approach to trade caught up with us in 2020, and we must focus on diversifying our export opportunities going forward to minimise risk and expand our horizons.”

“It is time to explore and harness opportunities in the value-adding space. We must use the lessons of 2020 and take action to improve supply chains, and build local manufacturing and value creation capabilities.”

“The pandemic has influenced stronger migration to the regions, which must spark a discussion on the long-term ability of regional areas to meet the needs of growing populations. We need parity with our cities in job and education opportunities, health, infrastructure and telecommunications.”

To view our pre-Budget submission, please click here.

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